Monday, February 26, 2018

Buchan again

Some selected John Buchan quotations from various sources: 
  • An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.
  • The true definition of a snob is one who craves for what separates men rather than for what unites them.
  • A fool tries to look different: a clever man looks the same and is different. The 39 Steps
  • We can pay our debts to the past by putting the future in debt to ourselves. (on the coronation of George VI, 1937) 
  • I get into a tearing passion about something I know very little about, and when I learn more my passion ebbs away. Castle Gay
  • The more doubtful the political outlook the fiercer will be the dogmas which men create and contend for. The Marquis of Montrose
  • I believe that all wisdom consists in caring immensely for a few right things, and not caring a straw about the rest. 
  • Wise men never grow up; indeed, they grow younger, for they lose the appalling worldly wisdom of youth.
  • He disliked emotion, not because he felt lightly, but because he felt deeply.
  • History gives us a kind of chart, and we dare not surrender even a small rushlight in the darkness. The hasty reformer who does not remember the past will find himself condemned to repeat it.
  • To see what is right and not to do it is cowardice. It is never a question of who is right but what is right.
  • You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass. A touch here, a push there, and you bring back the reign of Saturn. The Power House
  • The Church of Christ is an anvil which has worn out many hammers. Our opponents may boast of their strength, but they do not realize what they have challenged.

Without hope...

Samuel Johnson:
He that grows old without religious hopes, as he declines into imbecility, and feels pains and sorrows incessantly crowding upon him, falls into a gulf of bottomless misery, in which every reflection must plunge him deeper, and where he finds only new gradations of anguish and precipices of horror.
François-René de Chateaubriand:
Religion assures us that our afflictions shall have an end; she comforts us, she dries our tears, she promises us another life. On the contrary, in the abominable worship of atheism, human woes are the incense, death is the priest, a coffin the altar, and annihilation the Deity.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

"There...I will lay my sorrow in the grave"

Via RedState: Bach Cantata BWV 56 (about 20 minutes) with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

I will gladly carry the Cross,
it comes from God’s dear hand,
and leads me, after my troubles,
to God, in the promised land.
There at last I will lay my sorrow in the grave,
there my Savior himself will wipe away my tears.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

"Taste and see..."

From Psalm 34:
O taste and see how gracious the Lord is;
Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

"Here for a season, then above..."

Billy Graham died today (1918-2018). RIP.

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,   
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Monday, February 19, 2018

If he were not well-intentioned...

The Civil War Trust provides a biography of George Washington. It's not short but it is a lot shorter than one of the many book-length efforts and it is quite readable. On Washington's personality and character it quotes Abigail Adams:
He has a dignity which forbids familiarity mixed with an easy affability which creates love and reverence… [he] has so happy a faculty of appearing to accommodate and yet carrying his point, that if he was really not the best intentioned men in the world he might be a very dangerous one.
We were very fortunate in the "Father of Our Country." 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

"Well, what can anyone do?"

A somewhat modified version of a post from 2010, called to mind by a friend's email:

When I was six one of my birthday gifts was A.A. Milne's When We Were Very Young. That was my introduction to the author. Pooh doesn't appear in the book (although Christopher Robin does). The book is a collection of Milne's poems. The illustrator was Ernest H. Shepard, who did the drawings for all of Milne's children's books (and for my favorite edition of The Wind in the Willows). I much prefer Shepard's work to the Disneyfied versions. This, like most good children's books, is best read aloud. The best children's books are just as much fun to read when you're grown — all the more so when shared with a child. My favorite of the poems, then as now, is "Disobedience" about the refusal of a mother to take excellent advice from her son about the dangers of going alone to the end of town.

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he;
"You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."
James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."
James James
Morrison's Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison's Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison's Mother
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."
James James
Morrison's mother
Hasn't been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?"
King John
Put up a notice,
(Now then, very softly)
W.G.Du P.
Took great
C/0 his M*****
Though he was only 3.
J.J. said to his M*****
"M*****," he said, said he:

A secure fortress

Via RedState, Bach Cantata BWV 80: "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" (25 min.):

A Translation.

The first chorus:
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott,
Ein gute Wehr und Waffen;
Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,
Die uns itzt hat betroffen.
Der alte böse Feind,
Mit Ernst er's jetzt meint,
Groß Macht und viel List
Sein grausam Rüstung ist,
Auf Erd ist nicht seinsgleichen.     
Our God is a secure fortress,
a good shield and weapon;
He helps us willingly out of all troubles,
that now have encountered us.
The old, evil enemy
is earnestly bent on it,
great strength and much deceit
are his horrid armaments,
there is nothing like him on earth.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday

Remember, O man: Thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.
Genesis 3:19
The Baptist church I grew up in participated in a series of Lenten services organized by the local ministers' council. Eventually even the Catholics participated although the Wisconsin Synod Lutherans never did. The Baptist church to which I now belong usually nods toward Lent in our weekly Sabbath worship, but no Ash Wednesday, no fasting, no Holy Week observances.

Believers who use the Christian Calendar to guide religious observance (Roman Catholics, Anglicans, many Methodists, most Lutherans and others) are beginning Lent today, Ash Wednesday.

The following is an explanation of the observance:
Lent consists of the forty days before Easter. In the western Church, we skip over the Sundays when we count the days of Lent, because Sunday is always the joyful celebration of the Resurrection. Therefore, the first day of Lent in the western Church is always a Wednesday.

....ashes became a sign of remorse, repentance, and mourning. Today someone might wear a black armband to signify that they are in mourning; back then people put ashes on their foreheads.

You can find biblical examples of this in 2 Samuel 13:19, Esther 4:1-3, Job 42:6, and Jeremiah 6:26. During Lent, ancient Christians mourned their sins and repented of them, so it was appropriate for them to show their sincerity by having ashes on their foreheads. The custom has persisted in the church as secular society has changed around us.

It is most appropriate on Ash Wednesday, when we begin a period of sober reflection, self-examination, and spiritual redirection. Whether or not the Calendar guides our own practice,...the period leading to Good Friday is an appropriate time to engage in sober reflection about God's grace in Christ, our unworthiness, and a renewal of our commitment to holy living. (Why ashes on Ash Wednesday?) 
Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that Thou hast made,
and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent;
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts,
that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
The Book of Common Prayer, 1559

Monday, February 12, 2018

"Yet I will rejoice..."

William Cowper, who often suffered depression, wrote Sometimes a Light Surprises in 1779:
Sometimes a light surprises the Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord, who rises with healing in His wings:
When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation we sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation, and find it ever new.
Set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,
Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may.

It can bring with it nothing but He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing will clothe His people, too;
Beneath the spreading heavens, no creature but is fed;
And He Who feeds the ravens will give His children bread.

Though vine nor fig tree neither their wonted fruit should bear,
Though all the field should wither, nor flocks nor herds be there;
Yet God the same abiding, His praise shall tune my voice,
For while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice.
And from a reflection on that great hymn, I've excerpted this portion about the final verse:
Cowper chose the text from Habakkuk 3 for the fourth and final verse of "Sometimes a Light Surprises." It is an interesting choice for a number of reasons. First of all, it is likely that Habakkuk was a musician. Scholars believe that Habakkuk was a Levite and associated with the temple singers. The last chapter of Habakkuk is in the form of a liturgy with a prophetic prayer meant to be sung.

Secondly, Habakkuk 3 includes the language of lament and, according to one commentator, "provides one of the most moving statements of faith and trust found in Scripture (vv. 16-19)." There is something about honest lament that bridges our limited, finite humanity with our infinite, covenant Lord.

Often when we look around at our circumstances we want to cry out, "Lord, what are you doing? What is going on?" There is something telling in this kind of stark and honest dialogue with God. It may seem obvious, but lament, rather than revealing a distance from God, reveals that an actual relationship is intact. When we feel close enough to God to talk to him honestly about our circumstances, intimacy is revealed. Moreover, it is often through intimate, honest lament that clarity is received. Though it begins with a description of tough circumstances, Cowper's lyric ends with the assurance of God's faithfulness: "yet God the same abideth, his praise shall tune my voice, for while in him confiding, I cannot but rejoice." ....
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (KJV)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

"The loss is ours"

From Patrick Kurp in "The Moon was a Ghostly Galleon":
Just the other day, while walking the dog and apropos of nothing, I found myself singing/chanting this:
“The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.”
The most convincing argument in favor of verse that follows the pulse of regular rhythm and the soul-satisfying ring of rhyme is sheer memorability. Our heads are filled with poems and songs because of their music. .... I make no grand critical claims for the lines above, but I’m glad to have them cued up in my mental jukebox. Why did they start playing the other day? No wind was blowing. The sun shone and the moon hadn’t risen. I suspect it was cadence, the words called up by syncing my gait to the dog’s, whose full name, Luke the Drifter, is an hommage to the poet Hank Williams. The poem is Alfred Noyes’ “The Highwayman.” ....

I hear...the great English adventure stories – Stevenson, Henty, Haggard, Kipling. I hear echoes of Masefield’s “A Wanderer’s Song” and Tennyson’s “Break, Break, Break.” Like “The Highwayman,” these are heroic, declamatory poems that invite performance as much as solitary consumption. That’s a tradition long discredited by critics, poets and readers, and the loss is ours. ....
Anecdotal Evidence: `The Moon was a Ghostly Galleon'

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The worm in the apple

Originally posted in 2006:
"How in blazes do you know all these horrors?" cried Flambeau.

The shadow of a smile crossed the round, simple face of his clerical opponent.

"Oh, by being a celibate simpleton, I suppose," he said. "Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil? But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren't a priest."

"What?" asked the thief, almost gaping.

"You attacked reason," said Father Brown. "It's bad theology." (G.K. Chesterton, "The Blue Cross")
I have always enjoyed reading mysteries. I began with Conan Doyle, and soon progressed to Agatha Christie, and then to Chesterton, Marjorie Allingham, Dorothy L. Sayers, etc. I still enjoy those authors—whether in print or in the many film and television versions. A part of the pleasure is that justice always (or almost always) triumphs. Some great evil, usually murder, is committed, peace and order is disrupted, anarchy threatens, but then order is re-established, tranquility restored and justice done.

Later, I started reading the so-called "hard-boiled" authors like Chandler and Hammett and their many successors. The moral issues tended to be much less clearly drawn and the victory of good much less complete. No one, in these books, is unambiguously good.

A sense of evil is central to all of them. It is much easier to be drawn into the books if you possess a firm belief in the reality of original sin—the flaw in every person. The "hard-boiled" stories were more realistic about evil, though, since the dividing line between good and evil passes—not between us—but through each of us; and—in this life—there is no final victory for good.

For many years, now, P.D. James has been one of the best practitioners of the art of the mystery story. From a review by Ralph C. Wood of P.D. James' most recent Dalgliesh mystery novel The Lighthouse (2005):
IN HIS CELEBRATED 1948 essay on detective fiction, "The Guilty Vicarage," W.H. Auden argued that the appeal of crime novels lies in their "dialectic of innocence and guilt." A seemingly edenic community is discovered to have a murderer in its midst. Various false clues and secondary murders cast suspicion on nearly everyone and thus reveal the falseness of the community's innocence. With the almost miraculous aid of a detective who possesses superior powers of perception, the true criminal is caught and punished, as the community undergoes a catharsis that cleanses its partial guilt and restores its innocence. Hence Auden's conclusion that the detective story, though a worthy genre, is a peculiarly Protestant form of magic: a "fantasy of escape," built on the Socratic daydream that "sin is ignorance."

Auden rightly describes the pattern that obtains in the huge preponderance of crime novels—though there have always been some that elude the easy escapist comfort. The novels of P.D. James, for instance, mainly because her victims are not entirely innocent nor her villains entirely guilty. A complex admixture of good and evil lies at the moral and religious center of her work....

Either mushiness or hardness of heart prompts nearly all personal sins, James suggests, from the great to the small, from murder to gossip. The only antidote lies in the pity that seeks firm justice while acknowledging that everyone, even the worst, suffers irremediably. What we do with our suffering is what matters. Our sins most often spring not from mere ignorance, James teaches, but from false innocence. Despite Auden’s salutary warning, therefore, such detective fiction as hers enables us to confront our real guilt.
First Things November 2006: Books in Review

Thursday, February 8, 2018

True Grit

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's list of "10 books from 1968 worth reading today" includes several I've never read. But among those I have:
True Grit, by Charles Portis. As terrific as the 1969 and 2010 movie adaptations were, Portis' novel brings the superior pleasure of immersion in the distinctive narrative voice of Mattie Ross, the 14-year-old Bible-quoting girl who recruits the meanest possible U.S. marshal, Rooster Cogburn, to help her hunt down her father's killer. ...

"Pray not to talk, but to listen."

From a 2013 Ash Wednesday sermon delivered by Pastor Ben Dueholm:
...[R]emember to pray. As Jesus tells us, this doesn’t need to be a rambling monologue directed at God. If you’re like me, that’s probably why you feel self-conscious about prayer, as if you need to come up with enough good, persuasive words. But that’s the opposite of what Jesus tells us to do. Try making three times a day in which you can pray the Lord’s Prayer, even to yourself. Or read the psalms carefully. Four every day and you’ll finish the whole book by Easter. Pray not to talk, but to listen. Pray not by yourself, but with all the faithful who are praying with the same words. ....

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"Deliver us from Evil..."

From Margery Allingham's The Tiger in the Smoke:
.... Avril had only one prayer which he used in private nowadays. He had reached that stage in his development when its few lines seemed to him to contain the absolute maximum which, from a purely personal point of view, he dared ask of his Creator. As he climbed out of his clothes, folding each garment carefully as he had been taught sixty years before, he repeated it, drawing the blessed sense out of every exact word.

"Our Father...

When he came to the part which was most important of all to him that night, he paused and said it twice. "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Evil."

That was it. That was what he meant. Lead us not into temptation, for of that we have already enough within us and must resist it as best we can in our own way. But deliver us, take us away, hide us from Evil. From that contamination of death cover us up. That was his prayer, and tonight it was not going to be answered. ....
Avril is an elderly Anglican clergyman.

I've posted about this book before here and here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


.... De-conversion stories are designed not to reach non-Christians but to reach Christians. And their purpose is to convince them that their crusty, backwards, outdated, naïve beliefs are no longer worthy of their assent. Whether done privately or publicly, this is when a person simply gives their testimony of how they once thought like you did and have now seen the light. ....

Modern examples of those in the de-conversion business are well known: Bart Ehrman, Rob Bell, Peter Enns, and (as we shall discuss below) Jen Hatmaker.

Of course, each of their stories are different. Ehrman moved from fundamentalism all the way to agnosticism, with no desire to retain the label “Christian.” In contrast, those like Bell would still consider themselves “Christian” in some fashion, maybe even an evangelical of sorts.

But what all these folks do share is the same background. They were all once what we might call traditional, evangelical Christians and have now come to see the error of their ways. Whatever they embrace, it is no longer that version of Christianity. ....

...I was particularly reminded of the power and impact of de-conversion stories when I listened to last week’s podcast of Jen Hatmaker being interviewed by Peter Enns....

And the title of her interview fits this de-conversion theme perfectly: “Changing Your Mind about the Bible: A Survivor’s Guide.” As many know, the main issue Hatmaker changed her mind about is that she now fully affirms the LGBQT lifestyle as consistent with biblical Christianity.

But, Hatmaker’s journey in this interview is not as original as it might first appear. In effect, she simply follows the same basic playbook used by Rob Bell, Bart Ehrman and others. The details may be different, but the overall point is the same.
Kruger describes the steps the "de-converted" seem to go through, using the Hatmaker interview, and responding to her comments. The steps:
  • Step #1: Recount the Negatives of Your Fundamentalist Past
  • Step #2: Position Yourself as the Offended Party Who Bravely Fought the Establishment.
  • Step #3: Portray Your Opponents as Overly Dogmatic While You Are Just a Seeker
  • Step #4: Insist Your New Theology is Driven by the Bible and Not a Rejection of It
  • Step #5: Attack the Character of Your Old Group and Uplift the Character of Your New Group
He Concludes:
In the end, there’s no doubt Hatmaker’s de-conversion story will be persuasive to our postmodern world. And I am sure some will adopt her newfound theology as a result.

But, upon closer examination, it is rife with problems. While claiming to be non-judgmental, she declares the fruit of those who believe in traditional marriage as “rotten.” Despite her insistence that the Bible should be read without certainty, she offers all sorts of dogmatic claims about what the Bible teaches. While claiming her views are due to a deep study of Scripture, she offers only simplistic (and even irresponsible) explanations for the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality, while disregarding 2000 years of church history.

Yes, we should not settle for pat answers. But, sometimes the Bible does give clear answers. And when it does, we should be willing to listen and receive them.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mysterious London

I haven't been back to London since I bought my copy of the Mystery Reader's Walking Guide: London in 1987. If I ever do return I'll probably want the newer edition (2002) even though some of its advice will also be out of date.

From the flyleaf:
As you follow the authors' step-by-step "mystery tours," you will experience London through the eyes of such characters as Lord Peter Wimsey, Lady Molly, and Philip Trent. The authors' favorite mystery writers and their works include all the tried-and-true mystery types and run the gamut from Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver to Antonia Fraser's Jemima Shore. You'll find everything from apple-checked spinsters to superspies—more than 50 writers and 100 books in all!

Each of the walking mystery tours covers a fascinating neighborhood in London and includes:
  • An easy-to-follow map to all the sights and landmarks
  • Must-see spots and restaurant and pub suggestions—connected when possible to the actual detective stories
  • Lists of authors, books, and sleuths
You'll also find a bibliography of related books of interest and an index of people, places, and books in this guide.

Whether you stay at home or sally forth armed with umbrella, camera, and this guide in hand to track down your favorites for yourself, there is no better way to discover the "mysteries" of London.
The same authors produced the Mystery Reader's Walking Guide: England

An enjoyable excuse to walk.

Saturday, February 3, 2018


Philippians 4:4-7
Rejoice in the Lord alway,
and again I say rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men.
The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing;
but in every thing
by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God,
which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Henry Purcell: "Rejoice in the Lord alway" c. 1683

Friday, February 2, 2018

“A Verse may find him whom a Sermon flies..."

From a review of two books, one of which is O Sing unto the Lord: A History of English Church Music:
.... Reading O Sing unto the Lord set me thinking about the hymns I love—these tunes that according to Gant “did for the English what opera did for the Italians.” What gives them, beyond nostalgia, their particular power? “My Song Is Love Unknown” is a text by the mid-seventeenth-century Church of England minister Samuel Crossman, from his “Young Man’s Meditation” of 1664, which has as one of its epigraphs George Herbert’s contention “A Verse may find him whom a Sermon flies, And turn delight into a Sacrifice”:
My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I,
That for my sake
My Lord should take
Frail flesh, and die?…

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King,
Never was grief like thine.
This is my Friend,
In whose sweet praise
I all my days
Could gladly spend.
On the page these verses are by turns meditative, introspective, and outraged. They reflect Crossman’s personal saving faith and the institutional faith of the church to which he belonged, but they were actually composed at what must have been a time of anxious moral questioning for the poet. Ejected from the established church in the wake of the Restoration settlement that followed the Civil War and Interregnum of 1642–1660, he wrestled with his conscience, took the necessary oaths, and was ordained afresh in 1665. His own sense of isolation surely lent his identification with Christ’s loneliness and his need for Christ’s saving love an added intensity.

More than two and a half centuries later, in 1925, the composer John Ireland set Crossman’s poem to music, in a masterpiece of protean strophic setting—the tune as harmonized seems to open a myriad of emotional possibilities that allow it to track the text with an unerring sensitivity. At its heart, though, is a melody of ineffable tenderness....
God’s Own Music | by Ian Bostridge | The New York Review of Books

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Frederick Douglass

From George Will's review of a new biography of Frederick Douglass, born two-hundred years ago this month:
.... "Here comes my friend Douglass," exclaimed Lincoln at the March 4, 1865, reception following his second inauguration. After the assassination 42 days later, Lincoln's widow gave Douglass her husband's walking stick. After Appomattox, Douglass, who had attended the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention on behalf of women's suffrage, said: "Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot." If so, slavery ended not with the 13th Amendment of 1865 but with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. ....

By the time of Douglass's 1895 death, the nation was saturated with sinister sentimentality about the nobility of the South's Lost Cause: The war had really been about constitutional niceties — "states' rights" — not slavery. This, Sandefur says, was ludicrous: Before the war, Southerners "had sought more federal power, not less, in the form of nationwide enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act and federal subsidies for slavery's expansion."

Nevertheless, in the South, monuments to Confederate soldiers were erected and Confederate symbols were added to states' flags. In the North, the University of Chicago's Charles Edward Merriam, a leading progressive, wrote in a widely used textbook that "from the standpoint of modern political science, the slaveholders were right" about some people not being entitled to freedom. As an academic, Woodrow Wilson paid "loving tribute to the virtues of the leaders of the secession, to the purity of their purposes." As president, he relished making The Birth of a Nation, a celebration of the Ku Klux Klan, the first movie shown in the White House.

Douglass died 30 years before 25,000 hooded Klansmen marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. That same year, Thurgood Marshall graduated from Baltimore's Frederick Douglass High School, en route to winning Brown v. Board of Education. Douglass, not Wilson, won the American future.

"Sighs and leers..."

Browsing once again in The Annotated Mother Goose I found this. I knew the first two verses but the rest was unfamiliar.

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails
And puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.
What are old women made of?
What are old women made of?
Bushes and thorns
And old cow's horns,
That's what old women are made of.
What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And all that's nice,
That's what little girls are made of.
What are our sailors made of?
What are our sailors made of?
Pitch and tar,
Pig-tail and scar,
That's what our sailors are made of.
What are young men made of?
What are young men made of?
Sighs and leers
And crocodile tears,
That's what young men are made of.
What are our soldiers made of?
What are our soldiers made of?
Pipeclay and drill,
The foeman to kill,
That's what our soldiers are made of.
What are young women made of?
What are young women made of?
Ribbons and laces,
And sweet pretty faces,
That's what young women are made of.